PRIMEVAL: Alexander and his lost tomb
By BURAAQ ABOOD
Let us begin by saying that good and evil have been around the world since the time of Adam and Eve, and it will go on till the day of resurrection. At the end of the day we live on planet earth and the world we live in is widespread with negative emotions, diseases, misunderstandings, hatred – in short evil and then there comes the ‘’stereotypes’’.
Stereotypes are both good and bad. Let’s indulge in the discussion of the good ones. As an amateur historian I must say that majority of the people around us, regardless of their interest tend to ignore the past. All they know about is that there is someone in the past who was brave enough to conquer more than half of the world. That person is none other than Alexander the Great. The brave and courageous people among us are given the stereotype of being as brave as Alexander.
Now let us jump to the point and that is all what people know about is to give stereotypes regarding Alexander the Great, but they do not know the story behind the man which makes him great and the mystery regarding his lost tomb is far from being in someone’s acknowledgement.
Alexander was a young man who set out to conquer the world from Macedonia (Greece), right after his father Phillip II of Macedon. He was trying to consolidate the Greek states in the Hellenic league and during the course of action had died. He would go on conquering various lands and form a multinational army by recruiting men from the conquered lands. He wasn’t simply a brave man but a man of great mind too and to that Aristotle was a major contributor. He had taught him that there are two kinds of people on earth; Greeks and Barbarians. Upon reaching Persia, his views changed and we can’t ignore the fact that his army consisting of mostly Greeks was enraged and was impatient to even the odds with the Persians, but Alexander showing his keen leadership took matters into his own hands and calmed them down. From then on he would disregard Aristotle’s views and say that we humans are made equal and we are brothers and sisters. He was welcomed with great hospitality which led him to be thoroughly fascinated by the Persians. He had love for their culture and traditions. He and his army went on to marry the local women and a great feast was held as well. His adventures were quite similar to that of Zulqarnain’s (A.S). That is why they both are considered to be the same by many. There is a myth which goes like: Alexander and Khidr(A.S) were in search of the “water of immortality” also known by its Arabic name “Abb-e-Hayat”. Their paths were divided so they went in two different directions. Alexander could not find the water as his intention was to just have the powers and conquer the world, whereas Khidr(A.S) did find it and even drank it because his intent was to live forever and spread God’s divine message. Alexander would go on further and reach the sub- continent. There he conquered King Porus’ land near the rivers of Jhelum and Chenab and brought that seven feet tall giant to his knees, asking him; “Now how you wish to be treated like?’’ Porus replied ‘’ Still as a king’’. Alexander felt jocund, giving out a scintillating smile and gave him his kingdom back.
Alexander went further inland but his soldiers were exhausted and became rebellious in their demand to march back home. This is not to mention that Alexander fell sick and decided to return. Legend has it that he had some sort of a fever. He was sick throughout the whole journey back. He had previously established Babylon as the capital, so his return home was Babylon instead of Macedon. Not so long after returning he passed away just at the age of 33 due to unknown health conditions.
Now comes the part of deciphering the mystery. Alexander’s greatest General Ptolemy and several others had distinctive views about his place of burial. Some wanted to bury him in Babylon, some in Macedon (Greece) whereas Ptolemy was in favor of taking the body to Egypt. Eventually burying him in Memphis but then re-burying the body in Alexandria which was his final resting place. Alexander was well preserved and had been given an honorable burial, thanks to Ptolemy. The location of his tomb was quite sacred and the body was displayed as an ornament. It was still there in Cleopatra’s time and even Julius Caesar used to visit him and pay his respects as he admired him a lot. Due to many natural disasters and battles the tomb was lost and it is an undisclosed mystery since then. Generations have passed, many excavations were held in the area but no result was achieved. There are many theories of conspiracy regarding this cliff-hanger question, but these theories are far from being coined as facts. Apart from all this there are many mysteries of the ancient world which are yet to break their prestige. So perhaps we have to wait a little longer for these miracles to occur.